Florida Motorcycle Laws: What You Need to Know

January 10, 2020
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If you ride a motorcycle in Florida – or if you’re considering it – your safety is important. Understanding Florida’s motorcycle laws will keep you out of legal trouble and help you stay safe on the roadways. Florida offers the perfect climate for riding all year long. Unfortunately, our state also has an unusually high number of motorcycle accidents and fatalities every year. Many of these accidents occur due to careless or reckless motorists. Take every precaution to stay safe and legal on your bike; but should you sustain injuries in an accident you didn’t cause, contact a Florida motorcycle accident attorney for help.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important FL motorcycle laws.

What Are the Florida Motorcycle License Laws?

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) takes Florida motorcycle licensing very seriously. To legally operate any two- or three-wheeled motorcycle, you must either have a motorcycle endorsement on your driver license or obtain a “Motorcycle Only” license. You must successfully complete a Basic Rider Course before you can obtain your endorsement.

Riders below the age of 18 must hold a learner’s license or driver license for a year without any traffic offense convictions before they can obtain a motorcycle license. If you’re coming from another state where you held a motorcycle license, you may qualify automatically for a motorcycle endorsement in Florida.

Do I Have to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in Florida?

In Florida, all riders and passengers must wear a helmet that meets federal safety standards. Our state does allow a helmet exemption. To qualify for the exemption, you must be above age 21 and carry at least $10,000 of insurance that will cover medical costs for motorcycle injuries. If you do not wear a helmet, you must wear protective eye gear approved by the FHSMV.

What Are the Florida Motorcycle Insurance Laws?

In Florida, motorcyclists must carry a minimum of:

  • $20,000 total bodily injury insurance,

  • $10,000 property damage and per-person bodily injury insurance, and

  • $30,000 single incident limit liability insurance.

Riders are not required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage. However, if you choose to ride without a helmet, you must also carry $10,000 in medical insurance benefits.

Do I Have to Use Daytime Headlights When Riding a Motorcycle in Florida?

Florida law requires you to use a motorcycle headlight at all times, including the daylight hours. If your failure to use a headlight causes an accident, you could face a negligence claim.

What Are Florida’s Laws for Motorcycle Passengers?

In Florida, you can carry a passenger of any age on your motorcycle. However, you must have either a separate seat for the passenger you a single seat designed for two people. You must also have footrests for your passenger. If your passenger is not over the age of 21, they must wear a helmet with eye protection.

Does Florida Law Regulate the Height of Motorcycle Handlebars?

Florida law says that your handlebars cannot be higher than your shoulders when you are sitting on your motorcycle seat. In other words, the high “ape hanger” style handlebars are not legal in our state.

Call a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer If You Get Hurt

No matter how careful and lawful you are, accidents are an ongoing threat to motorcyclists. If you sustained injuries in an accident or incident caused by someone else, you may have the right to recover a settlement for your injuries and other damages.

The Florida motorcycle lawyers at Rue & Ziffra have decades of experience. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients, and we can assist you in holding the at-fault party accountable for their negligence. We offer free, no-obligation consultations for personal injury victims. To schedule your case evaluation, or to learn more about the Florida motorcycle laws, contact us today.

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